Museum made by kids, for kids

Five-year-old Eli, left and his brother Leo, 7, with favourite items from their mini museum.

Wayne Pienaar’s passion for rocks, fossils and collecting in general seems to have passed down to his sons, Silverdale School students Eli and Leo.

The result is the Kids Hands on Museum, crammed with artifacts of all kinds, that occupies part of the Pienaar family’s living room in Hatfields Beach.

Just a few metres of space contains an eclectic collection of thousands of items from fossils to plastic model trains and trucks, coins, stamps, cameras and gemstones.

Wayne says the museum started with just a few shelves that were needed to keep items safe. It is likely to expand a lot further as new finds or donated pieces are added.

In South Africa, where the family is from, Wayne took Leo and Eli gemstone and fossil hunting.

Wayne, who also enjoys metal detecting, is registered as a collector by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and after the family moved to Hatfields Beach a year ago, the collecting began in earnest.

A New Zealand and Maori section includes some donated bones of the extinct Polynesian dog, the kuri.

Hands On means just that – part of the appeal for kids is that all the items can be touched. Wayne says it’s a resource for children’s projects. Some information is provided via signs and a Google home smart speaker, but even better is asking the boys to show you their treasures.

The collection can be viewed free of charge by appointment at For more info, email or look for Kids Hands On Museum on Facebook.

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